NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - The City of New Orleans will shift into Phase 1 of reopening the city’s economy Saturday.
Mayor Latoya Cantrell made the announcement Tuesday afternoon and explained what that will look like for many businesses.
The City’s stay-at-home order will end on Friday and Cantrell says Phase 1 will begin at 6 a.m. on Saturday. Everyone who plans to be in public will need to wear a face mask or covering.
Cantrell says the city has seen a steady decline in COVID-19 cases for more than 21 days, the testing capacity is at a confident level along with hospital capacity and availability of ICU beds and ventilators.
Based on those statistics, many businesses will be able to reopen with restrictions.
Churches and places of worship can reopen at 25 percent capacity or 100 people, whichever is less.
Besides 25 percent capacity, restaurants will need to operate a little differently as well.
“They may open at 25 percent capacity for table service, retain names and contact numbers for over 21 days,” says Cantrell.
The mayor says that information ties into the city’s contact tracing efforts.
Retail stores with exterior entrances only can reopen at 25 percent capacity.
Meanwhile, spas, massage and tattoo parlors, children’s museums and bars that don’t have food permits will remain closed along with casinos and video poker establishments in New Orleans.
The mayor calls this phase “Safest at Home” because officials are still encouraging people to only head out for essentials. Especially those with pre-existing conditions who are at higher risk.
Social distancing still remains in place and gatherings are limited to groups of 10 people.